LRE® Blog

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October 20, 2008

Warren Buffett: Handling Tough Times

By Michael Marquette with Marquette Turner Luxury Homes In a time where debt is catching up with companies and individuals alike it is important to look at those who have led the way: what have they done to amass their wealth and importantly what have they avoided doing? With banks and countries collapsing (Iceland is teetering the brink of bankruptcy), Japan is potentially already in recession and the EU and US are in disarray, it is hard to go past Warren Buffett in looking at the best way to handle difficult times. Over the past thirty-five years, Warren Buffett has emerged as arguably the greatest investor in American history, and is currently listed by Forbes as the world’s wealthiest individual with a fortunate of approximately $US62 billion. If you had invested $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway when he took control in 1965, your holdings would be worth more than $50 million today.  Buffett still lives in the same house he bought three decades ago for $31,500 and drives an older Lincoln Towncar. This all points to avoiding excess and showing restraint, even in the good times. Warren Buffett had humble beginnings and has never lost sight of what it takes to continue succeeding and preparing for the tougher times. It’s certainly never too late to take notice: the sooner the better!

October 17, 2008

Pristine and Picturesque Tuscany

By Ottavia Panciroli of Capolavori Immobiliari Since 1990, the region in central Italy was one of the most popular spots in Europe for second home-buyers seeking la dolce vita—including celebrities and royals such as Sting, Antonio Banderas, Richard Gere and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

October 15, 2008

Farewell... and thank you for your kind words

By Robert Lockard This is my last blog entry in this luxury real estate blog. After more than a year and a half of blogging, I'm afraid my time has come to an end. I'm about to move on to something new and scary, but I suppose change always involves some degree of fear and discomfort. I will no longer be the editor of the Luxury Real Estate Blog. Thank you very much, everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts on this blog. I'm sorry if I wasn't able to respond to all of your comments, but I definitely read them all and tried to incorporate what I learned from them into future posts. I have grown a lot in the past year and a half and I think you can definitely see that by going back through my many blog entries and seeing me try to articulate my feelings and ideas.

October 15, 2008

REALTOR® report shows strength in Hawaii luxury real estate market

By Cedric Choi SEPTEMBER 2008 STATISTICS FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES – HONOLULU, HAWAII Honolulu Board of REALTORS’® Monthly Statistical Report for September 2008 (released October 1, 2008). Each month, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® issues a statistical report analyzing residential real estate activity on the island of Oahu. In addition to the general island-wide statistics, following is information for select individual neighborhoods: Waialae/Kahala – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report The statistics for this month are significantly different from last month, it is amazing! Comparing September 2007 to September 2008, the median price for a home in 2008 was down 33.3% (the same comparison for August 2007 and August 2008 showed the median price was up 37.8%). For the year-to-date statistics for January through September of 2007 versus January through September 2008, the median price for the neighborhood was up 7%.

October 15, 2008

Some in East Bay real estate are on the slippery slide of FEAR!

By Jim Walberg From his blog: Some East Bay Real Estate Is On The Slippery Slide Of FEAR! Once you get on the Slipper Slide of Fear, it is difficult to get off! Please stay off that slippery slide! So, I picked up USA Today last Saturday on my flight to the Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia where I was a presenter. The USA Today headline was, “FEAR is a slippery slide!” In some of my past comments I have used the sailor’s mantra, “Do not be fearful!” It still applies today, in spite of an almost 900-point recovery on the Dow Jones the past two days. Don’t forget… once you step on the “slippery slide” of fear, the momentum carries you away very quickly. The voice of experience, the voice of the local authority, and the voice of credibility can still prevail. And we are the ones that need to be that voice. I just completed a walk from the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton to Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other reminders of the work our founding fathers did on our behalf 230+ years ago. What an inspiring day! (You may recall this is the organization that is the acknowledged authority of luxury real estate! It was founded by John Brian Losh with a vision of connecting the best luxury brokers and agents in the world – 1,900 members from 65 countries.)

October 14, 2008

Cayman – a place for everyone!

By Kass Coleman So you want a place in paradise, either while you live here or to come to on vacation? Luxury homes in Cayman meet the needs of most people, both internationally and locally. If you’re local, you can work and live here with or without children and there’s never a dull moment. Cayman offers an abundance of activities for kids of all ages: sporting activities, arts, music, etc allow kids to flourish and express their creativity and talent through avenues that in some other countries aren’t as eager to welcome such raw talent. Cayman has an active social scene comprised of a number of charity events, art and music shows with many local musicians playing nightly in various locations island-wide and endless sporting and water-sports events. It’s just one more way in which we here in Cayman are truly blessed. Now, if you’re only here for a short period of time – not to live here, but just love to visit – this is also the place for you too! Foreign investors aren’t just welcomed, they are encouraged to make Cayman their “home away from home.” You’ve probably heard the phrase “no restriction of foreign ownership” before… what’s that mean? It means you can own a luxury property here in Cayman outright – no one else needs to be involved if you choose for them not to be. You can own it in your own name or through a Cayman Company, set up through one of Cayman’s law firms, many of them internationally known and well-recognized.

October 13, 2008

Protect your privacy when selling your luxury home

By Christine Watson From her blog: Hide Your Personals! Protecting your privacy when selling your home! Putting your luxury home on the market poses two very personal concerns: 1. Invasion of privacy: that your personal life will be on show; 2. Theft: your personal effects are prey to any “prospective” buyers De-clutter your property before placing it on the market: this is my first piece of advice for those vendors concerned with their privacy being publicised to the world. To some it means removing everything from bench tops, cupboards and shelves and to others it means keeping the home clean, neat and tidy. But how do you protect your privacy and hide your personal items? Your home generally depicts your personal life, showing your taste in furnishings, colours, art, antiques and family photographs. Is opening your home to the public an invasion of your privacy? Absolutely!  

October 10, 2008 Magazine supplement: “Green” Web sites and resources

By Robert Lockard In the winter 2009 issue of Magazine (this link will start working in December 2008 when the magazine is published) I wrote an article entitled “Seeing Green: Living eco-friendly without sacrificing luxury.” In that article I mentioned a number of links and resources awaiting readers online. As promised, here they are! Check out the following Web sites for valuable information on what you can do today to start enjoying the benefits of “green” homes. In addition, I included links to the personal blogs/sites of the five Luxury Real Estate members and Eco-Brokers who I interviewed for this article. They were very helpful in the writing process and I’m sure you’ll find them to be extremely helpful in the home buying and selling process:

October 9, 2008

New Cuba Gooding Jr. movie films at Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan estate

By Robert Lockard I have some very fun news to share. A new TNT movie starring Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is currently filming in the Detroit area, and part of the filming is being done at a waterfront luxury home on Windmill Point Drive in Grosse Pointe Park. This property is being represented by Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc. Realtors, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and the Board of Regents. Check out this wonderful story in the Grosse Pointe News that I received earlier this week. Sorry I don’t have a link to the story online. Apparently, that newspaper doesn’t post some of their stories on their Web site, but luckily I have a PDF version of the printed article. The movie is called “Gifted Hands: The Story of Ben Carson” and it follows the life of Ben Carson, born into poor conditions, who was able to lift himself up and become a famed pediatric neurosurgeon. It’s scheduled to debut on TNT on Feb. 7, 2009. I love inspirational stories about good people triumphing over difficult circumstances. Actually, this discussion reminds of a blog entry that Jim Walberg, the co-Owner/Broker of The Bay Area Team, just wrote about not giving in to fear despite our difficult financial market.
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